HuTong Dumpling Bar
14-16 Market Ln , Melbourne
03 9650 8128

photo 1 (4) [640x480]
I remember when Hutong first opened, I really love it.  They have the best XLB in the city and the food and service was great.  Then everyone heard about it and it started to get busy and the food quality is just not the same.  Coupled with the fact that you need to book 2-3 weeks in advance just made Hutong a bit prohibitive to visit.  That being said when P Diddy came to visit from Brisvegas and told me that he wanted Xiao Long Bao (XLB), I decided to give Hutong another try.
photo 2 (4) [640x480]We of course order XLB, which was still quite good, with hot soup gushing out of the XLB.  Whilst the skin is slightly thicker than what I would liked it to be, it was still a delicious dish.
photo 3 (3) [640x480]Another thing P.Daddy loved is cold drunken chicken.  The drunken chicken in Hutong is tender and fragrant, just the way we like it.
photo 4 [640x480]Shanghai fried noodles was my choice but I found the dish a bit bland and the veggies/protein/ carb ratio is a bit off- it needed more noodles.  Not my favorite dish of the night.
photo 5 [640x480]Stir fry snow pea shoots with garlic was light and delicious.
photo 1 (3) [640x480]The fragrant duck was another disappointing dish, the meat being too dry and really not fragrant at all.
photo 2 (3) [640x480]Chicken wings in chilli was also a disappointment, with the chicken wings being too dry and not chilli enough.  Also, in the Chinese description it actually said chicken wingettes, and we got more chicken mini-drumsticks than wingettes 😦
photo 3 (2) [640x480]Our last dish was capsicum with potatoes, shredded and stir fried.  It was bland but goes great with the chilli sauce they provided.
Service-wise, I found them quite efficient and although they are not super friendly their waiters are smart, observant and competent.  E.g. The teapot were always full, plates are changed, candles we’re lit for P.Diddy’s birthday cake and the waitress even started the birthday song for us because we were staring at the cake and forgot to start singing (LOL bad daughter!)
Overall, there are some hits and misses food-wise but service is definitely better than many Asian joints in the city. 6.5/10

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